Sociology 250-002

Final Examination

2 - 5 p.m., December 20, 1995

Answer each of the five parts. Within each part you have choices.

A. Short Explanation. (4 x 5 = 20 points). Choose four (4) of the following phrases, state which approach or author the phrase is identified with, and in one or two sentences state what is meant by the phrase and how it forms part of the study of sociology.

1. dyad, triad and group size.

2. the self, as that which can be object to itself.

3. the virtual class.

4. interpretive interactionism.

5. cod, fur and forest products.

6. institutional discrimination.

7. viewpoint of women.


B. Answer one (1) of the following. (15 points).

1. "When Weber talks about the state and social class, this is a shorthand way of referring to complex patterns of action and relations among individuals. Such patterns are so complex and complicated that we obviously cannot describe the activit ies of each individual who makes them up, but can only talk about typical patterns of action." Explain how the argument in this quote fits into the sociological approaches we studied this semester.

2. Erving Goffman discusses participants around a merry-go-round. Explain what points he is attempting to make by using this example.

3. Ritzer lays out seven basic principles of symbolic interactionism. State two of these principles and write a short note explaining each of these two principles.


C. Answer one (1) of the following: (15 points).

1. In the view of many sociologists, there are several contradictions in classical liberalism and liberal theories of society. State one of these contradictions and explain how a feminist might examine this contradiction.

2. When a Marxist argues that women constitute a sexual class, what does this mean?

3. Weber argues that the mother-child relationship is natural but some radical feminists argue that "Mothers are not born, they are made." Write a short note explaining the different implications of these two points of view.



D. Answer one (1) of the following: (15 points).

1. "The overwhelming importance of the St. Lawrence waterways has emphasized the production and export of raw materials, and in the case of wheat the extraordinary effects of a protective tariff during a period of expansion contributed to the constr uction of two new transcontinentals, and to the emergence of the Canadian National Railways." Explain why the points raised in this quote from Harold Innis might be important for sociological analysis in Canada.

2. "The approaches of Wallace Clement and Erik Olin Wright incorporate several Weberian elements into a Marxian analysis of social class." Explain, with an example.

3. Postmodern writers argue that grand, universal sociological approaches should be abandoned and that more attention should be given to local identities and mini-narratives. What does this mean and what are some of the reasons postmodernists make t his argument?


E. Essay Question. Pick one (1) of the following and write an essay on this topic. (35 points).

1. Durkheim and Marx are often thought of as presenting completely opposed theories of society. At the same time there are a number of similarities in the way that Durkheim and Marx examine society. Write an essay comparing Durkheim and Marx, concen trating primarily on the similarities between their approaches, but pointing out differences where necessary.

2. Select one of the major sociological approaches that we studied (Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Parsons, a microsociological approach, the staple model or postmodernism) and discuss how a feminist might argue that this approach is misleading or incomplet e. Where possible, show how the feminist approach could lead to overcoming the theoretical problems in this approach.

3. In an article in The Leader-Post of August 24, 1995, page C3, "Canadians watching less TV," Derrick de Kerckhove of the University of Toronto is quoted as saying:

We're moving from a culture of consumers to a culture of producers, of people who want to do things themselves. Karl Marx wouldn't have been happier if he was around today: Now the means of production are in the hands of the worker.

Given your understanding of Marx's views, comment on de Kerckhove's argument. In your answer, you could also speculate on what some other sociological approaches might say about this statement.

  1. Write an essay comparing and contrasting some of the concepts from Durkheim and Weber, for example the division of labour and bureaucracy or social solidarity and forms of domination. Do not try to be comprehensive, but focus on one or two social issues or sociological concepts that the two writers both address.


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